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Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Food Obsessed? Check Out These Apps!

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As a dietitian, I’m a huge foodie! I mean I get excited walking into beautiful grocery stores. You pretty much can say I’m food obsessed. I am also obsessed with the hundreds of food applications available for my iphone. These food apps help me and my clients choose healthier food and they also can give tips and techniques for cooking. Pretty much the only thing your phone can’t do is cook for you!

Check out some of my favorite food apps for the food obsessed! If you don’t have a smartphone yet, you can still visit the various websites and books these apps were based on. Enjoy!

MenuPagesMenuPages: I travel a lot so when I’m in some of the bigger cities and need to find a great food spot, I use the menu pages app. You just type in what you want to eat (Mexican, Chinese, Brunch) and where you want to eat (intersection, address, current location) and this app gives you full menus for an impressive roster of restaurants, so you'll be able to know what you want before you even get there. Although this app does not support all of the United States, it is great if you are visiting or happen to live in New York, San Francisco, LA, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, DC, or South Florida and if you like food!

Cost: Free

How To Cook EverythingHow To Cook Everything: This best selling app is based on Mark Bittman’s best selling cookbook of the same name. OK, the name of the app is sort of an exaggeration as it features 2000 recipes and 400 how to illustrations. For those of us who are just happy cooking something and aren’t worried about making anything gourmet, you will love this app! For you vegetarians out there, there is a new adaption to this app called How to Cook Everything Vegetarian featuring 2000 meatless recipes! Definitely a good investment!

Cost: $4.99

OpenTableOpenTable: Need a reservation immediately? This awesome app will help you find and easily make reservations at some 14,000 restaurants which you can search by name or location. Simple as that and it's available on almost every smart phone!

Cost: Free

EpicuriousEpicurious: This is one of my favorite food apps! This remarkable food app contains thousands of professionally tested recipes including those from Bon Appetit and Gourmet. The app sorts recipes into categories for drinks, dinner parties, snacks, desserts and healthy or decadent meals, and when you find a recipe you want along with step-by-step instructions, it'll help you quickly create a shopping list, which you can send to others and check off items as you get them. I mean how great is that? Added bonus – Cost: Free

Food SpottingFood Spotting: This app not only helps you decide where to eat but also what to eat. Foodspotting enables you to see what’s good nearby by showing you photos of different restaurant’s foods. This app helps you find the tastiest eats wherever you are based on what you're craving. Then you can share the stuff at specific restaurants you love via big photos and descriptions. It also has an easy to understand rating system (If you love it, Nom it). This is also a positive app because it only wants you to report what you love, not what you hate!

Cost: Free

Seafood WatchSeafood Watch Guide: Thanks to the Monterey Bay Aquarium this app helps us to be more aware of our ocean’s wellness and tries to help restore our ocean’s ecosystem from decades of overfishing and pollution. This app helps individuals make informed choices when consuming fish, sorts seafood by rank in terms of contamination levels and can give you a regional breakdown of what’s best to eat in different areas of the country. Plus it gives you a sushi guide which lists fish by their Japanese and market names. If you don't have an iPhone, you can still access all the info at mobile.seafoodwatch.org.

Cost: Free

FromageFromage: Being from Wisconsin, I had to add this cheese app to my list of favorites for the food obsessed, because I am cheese obsessed! If you can’t let a day pass without thinking about cheese or without wondering what would go best with that cheese dish I am making for dinner tonight like me, then believe me this is the app for you! Currently only for iPhones, you can browse hundreds of different kinds of cheese from around the world. For each cheese you can learn their characteristics via large photos, the regions they come from, flavor profiles, and even which wines or beers to pair them with. Another great thing about this app is that you can add your own notes, rate them, and even let your friends know which ones you like best!

Cost: $2.99

Wine EnthusiastWine Enthusiast: Wine can be totally intimidating and I know I am guilty of just buying a wine based on what the label looks like. Then you get home and it’s the worst wine ever! With the Wine Enthusiast app, the next time you go to the supermarket or a restaurant you won’t have a problem knowing exactly what to get. You can browse and search more than 65,000 reviews and wine descriptions, narrowing it down to just what you're looking for. This app lists prices, tasting notes, maturity ratings and a glossary of wine lingo.

Cost: $4.99

Jamie Oliver 20 Minute MealsJamie Oliver 20 Minute Meals: As a mom with two young children and always on the go, sometimes you just need something quick without sacrificing nutrition. With the 20 minutes I could spend waiting in a McDonald’s drive through line, I can also make one of Jamie Oliver’s 20 Minute Meals from my iPhone app. This app is awesome and is broken down into categories like “simple risottos” and “quick curries.” If you aren’t a big cooker, this app is great for beginners as it has an “essentials” tab that lists his recommendations for must have equipment and ingredients and also short videos throughout the app demonstrating kitchen basics. Jamie even takes you step by step through each recipe, but as you become more familiar with the recipes you can turn that off. Currently there are only 60 recipes included in this app so hopefully in the future he will add more!

Cost: $2.99

EWGEWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides:  Eat your fruits and vegetables! The Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen application is a simple guide to the fruits and vegetables with the most and least pesticide residue. This app lets you prioritize the produce that you should definitely buy organic to avoid the most pesticide residues and which ones are okay if organic isn’t available. Whether you buy organic or not, wash your fruits and veggies well!

Cost: Free

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Tags: Healthy Eating

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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